365 days with Newton

29 JULY

The Lord who seeks

‘And they shall call them, The holy people, The redeemed of the LORD: and thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken.’ Isaiah 62:12
SUGGESTED FURTHER READING: Exodus 3:1–10

The Lord seeks his people. Hence they are compared:
(i) to stones in a quarry which must lie in that state, till they are selected and removed from the rest (Isaiah 51:1 [Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the LORD: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged]).
(ii) to wandering sheep (Luke 15) who never can find the way to the fold of themselves.
(iii) to people in the dark who cannot tell where to set a foot (Matthew 4).
It is true that in time they all seek him, but not till he has found them first (Psalm 27). Till then they know not the two chief motives of seeking:
(i) for pardon of sin. They are insensible of the nature, abounding and desert of sin, till he shows them. And therefore he is to them as a physician to them who are in health.
(ii) for happiness. This indeed they desire and seek but not from him, till he puts it into their hearts. In this sense the world is their God. But he seeks them. He gives them light, he gives them a heart to pray, he teaches, leads them to a throne of grace, then he reveals himself and says, Behold me.
This to be insisted on:
(i) for the humiliation of believers and the praise of his grace.
(ii) for the encouragement of seekers.
(iii) for encouragement of ministers to preach the gospel to sinners. The Lord knows them that are his.
FOR MEDITATION: [for New Year’s Evening 1771]
Let us adore the grace that seeks
Though filled with awe, before his throne
To draw our hearts above!
Each angel veils his face;
Attend, ’tis GOD the Saviour speaks,
He claims a people for his own
And every word is love.
Amongst our sinful race.

SERMON: ISAIAH 62:12 [2/3]

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